Obama’s Surreal Campaign

As the election year heats up, we seem not to have noticed the surreal nature of the campaign. One would expect Barack Obama to run on his record from 2009 to 2012, and especially during 2009–10, when he had a solidly Democratic Congress and passed his signature Obamacare. But he is not. Instead, we are hearing only that the probable opposition nominee, Mitt Romney, will be embarrassed by the similarities between Obamacare and his own Romneycare in Massachusetts. Examine that logic: Supposedly landmark legislation is now defended not on its own merits or popularity, but by a sort of “He did it too”?

During the 2004 campaign, the Kerry camp derided 5.5 percent unemployment as proof of a “jobless recovery.” Today 8.3 percent is deemed a sign of a real rebound. In 2008, when George W. Bush had borrowed $4 trillion over eight years, the deficits were termed by candidate Obama as “unpatriotic”; trumping that total in just four years is now called much-needed “stimulus.”

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